I am writing this a few weeks after the event, so memory has been fogged by the passage of time and also BOOZE. Apologies for any factual inaccuracies contained herein, even though our name also acts as a general disclaimer.
Does anyone truly know how a projector works? I have been outsourcing programming the video since my younger sister came along, and at school a stoned twentysomething would glide in with everything you need on a wheeled tray.
Thank heavens for the early arrival of Charlie Vero-Martin, who helped out, mucked in, and generally helped us not to muck up. The long and short of it being, by the time the show was due to start we were READY. Ish.
I hosted. I hadn’t entirely figured out a bit, but I had multiple bits that I could throw in where necessary; and also I had IMPROV. And also this slide to put everyone at ease:
The only – and slightly intentionally – awkward bit was that I had to introduce the first act, who was also myself, but dressed as a pirate.
An informative talk about privateers and privatisation later, I came back on stage to get people to applaud for the person who had just been on stage, who was also myself.
By this point it must have seemed like the entire show was just going to be me introducing myself over and over again, and I said so. And then introduced Maddi and their important, interactive, highly factual history of Stylophones.
One conceit of the show was to ask audience members to guess how factually accurate or otherwise our comedy lectures were, with FABULOUS PRIZES available including a poster, a mug, and the complete series of Buffy the Vampire Slayer on VHS.
Buffy went unclaimed, and will be again available at the next show. Bring several suitcases.
Next up was Charlie Vero-Martin, performing as her marine biologist alter-ego Professor Von Plattfuss. You see? We lure you in with the delicious maggoty promise of stand up then catch you on the hook of excellent character comedy. With slides. And fish sex.
This talk was entitled “The Restless Sea: Rising temperatures and fish procreation”, was 40% accurate, and had an incredible bit about hermit crabs. Charlie is excellent, go see her own show at Hoopla on the 21st July.
We had reached the interval. People on stage were funny, audience members laughed, and absolutely nothing whatsoever exploded or caught fire. We hoped for more of the same after the break.
There was more after the break! First, Heleana Blackwell, who did the same Level 2 comedy course with Nick Hall as me, and has been gigging FURIOUSLY ever since. She’s put together a tight, ever-evolving five minutes, and she stretched it out like a delicious pastry around her anthropologist’s investigation into lesbian relationships.
Finally, came the man who arrived nice and early, and sat at the side of the room in magnificent isolation. Lurking. Waiting.
Felix Trench was magnificent. He won the metaphysical prize of longest title of bit:
“Suggested Improvements to the International E-Road Network Defined by Resolution ECE/TRANS/SC.1/2016/3/Rev.1 of the UNECE and joint UN Declaration 1264Suggested Improvements to the International E-Road Network Defined by Resolution ECE/TRANS/SC.1/2016/3/Rev.1 of the UNECE and joint UN Declaration 1264: The Declaration of the Construction of Main Traffic Arteries (1947 amended 1975 amended 1992 amended 2001 amended 2008).”
What followed was a tale of love, of yearning, of regret, and of extremely convoluted European Road Directives.
Delivered without a mic and with the intensity of an extremely secular preacher of postwar utopianism, Trench’s concluding lecture was delightfully odd, surreal and funny.
It was so wonderful to see how each act interpreted our (admittedly woolly) remit, and I think we managed to achieve our aim of putting on a show in London unlike any other. I look forward to seeing what happens next.
With much thanks to Jamie Clarke on tech, co-producer Maddi Sainsbury, and all our excellent performers.